Excitement filled the air this week for a short time as CBS News reported that WH Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Senior White House advisor David Axelrod were preparing to leave the WH in the coming months. But if you’re thinking their departure means that the Chicago Way has run its course in Washington, DC, think again:
(CBS) President Obama’s inner circle will likely be losing some key players. CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports that sources say David Axelrod, the president’s closest advisor, will move to Chicago next spring.
Axelrod is expected to reassume his role as campaign manager in Mr. Obama’s 2012 reelection bid. A potential, if not likely, replacement for Axelrod is current White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
The dominoes don’t stop there. Rahm Emanuel, the president’s Chief of Staff, may leave the White House as soon as next month.
Emanuel has told colleagues that he’s very likely to run for mayor of Chicago, and that could see him depart the White House in October.
“I’m not going to rule anything in or out. He’s in the process of thinking through what’s best for Rahm,” Gibbs told reporters Wednesday on Air Force One.
Which means he’ll be running for mayor.
And Robert Gibbs potentially taking his Axelrod’s place as senior advisor to President Obama? Expect more of the same Axelrod-esque partisan, vicious swipes and smears about the GOP in the months to come.
Chicago’s Greg Hinz confirmed the report about Axelrod’s “departure” this morning:
Top presidential political hand David Axelrod is confirming that he intends to leave the Obama White House and come back to Chicago “late next spring.”
But he says that always was his plan, and that, back in Chicago, he expects to participate in a major way in President Barack Obama’s presumed re-election campaign.
In a phone interview, Mr. Axelrod dismissed media chatter that he’s being pushed out of the White House because of big anticipated Democratic losses in the upcoming mid-term elections.
“Nothing I’ve said, that I’ve said privately, is different — I’d be in Washington two, two-and-a-half years,” Mr. Axelrod said. “I’ll be back late next spring — after the mayoral election.”
Mr. Axelrod did not say exactly what he would do in Mr. Obama’s campaign, but said it would be at “a high level” similar to two years ago, when someone else had the title campaign manager but Mr. Axelrod served as chief campaign strategist.
Talk that he’s a scapegoat is silly, Mr. Axelrod added. “The point is, I’m not leaving (early).”
In short, Axelrod will be in the same role he was in during the 2008 campaign, and that he’s been in for the last two years in the Obama administration: Dupe-ster Extraordinaire. He got away with the rhetorical, blustery, celebrity, healer-of-the-world campaign in 2008, but hopefully next time around – in 2012 – the GOP will be prepared for it.
Cross-posted to Right Wing News.